When it comes to college students and double standards, I think it culminates with party and hook-up cultures. How many times have you seen a group of kids walking up to the townhouses, the girls are wearing next to nothing and the boys look like they rolled out of bed? I’ve seen this too many times to count. Or how many times is a girl considered a slut when she hooks up with guys, whereas a boy is “the man”? Society is very focused on the behavior and looks of women; seldom is it worried about that of men.
I recently went to a black light, glow stick themed party. Attendees were encouraged to wear white t-shirts and paint their faces to stand out in the black light. When I walked into the townhouse, I immediately noticed most girls were dressed in short skirts or tight jeans with ripped and cut white t-shirts. The boys, on the other hand, were wearing plain white tees and plain jeans. Why is it that girls are always dressed in tight, short clothing whereas boys are dressed in everyday wear? There is a constant pressure to dress more provocatively. Even when we adhere to this pressure, we are still under constant scrutiny. More often than not, a girl who is wearing this tight clothing is still judged. People often say, “That girl needs to put some clothes on!” If a girl chooses to go out in a short skirt and heels, it is her prerogative to do so. Regardless of what she decides to wear, it is ultimately her decision.
As college students, I think one of the biggest ways in which we face the challenge of the double standard is through the hook up culture. It’s crazy to think that girls are still judged for their sexual behavior while guys are not. Sure, we talk about guys getting around, but few are the instances where it’s truly considered a negative. I have heard guys talk about how they would rather not be with someone because she’s hooked up with a bunch of guys. On the flipside, a girl is considered a prude if she decides not to hook up with any guys. It’s the constant battle, don’t be a prude but don’t be a slut either.
As young women we live under constant pressure and expectation. We have to be smart, but not too smart so we don’t scare away boys. We have to dress well, but make sure that what we’re wearing isn’t too revealing. You have to be social and happy, even when you don’t want to be. Don’t be too funny or too boring. Don’t be a prude but don’t be too promiscuous either. It seems like it’s a consistent struggle to live up to these standards. Even if we live up to them, it always seems like we are fighting against the newest thing.
All these expectations make it difficult to even live our lives. How are we supposed to worry about how we look, the way we act, making sure we get straight A’s and, worry about what others think of us? Its impossible to live your life based on the opinions of others. As women we have to stand by each other, have your sister’s backs and completely destroy the double standard. Live your life according to your rules and according to what you believe!